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Raise awareness among migrant labourers: Saudi tells India

Last Updated: Thursday, April 22, 2010 - 20:03

Washington: Amid reports of exploitation of
Indian workers by unscrupulous agents and employers in Saudi
Arabia, Riyadh today asked India to raise awareness among its
workers about their rights and obligations before they arrive
in the kingdom for work.

"We urge India to raise the awareness of its workers
before they leave the country for Saudi Arabia, to disseminate
information to the workers what are their obligations and what
are their rights," the Saudi Labour Minister Abdulwahed K
Al-Humaid told PTI here.

Al-Humaid was in Washington to attend the first-ever
meeting of Labour and Employment ministers of the G-20
countries. The two-day conference concluded yesterday.

The minister said that some workers do not know their
rights and thus they are exploited and also put the blame on
the Indian agencies that hire people in India for this kind of

"Before workers come to Saudi Arabia, they sign contract
with the Indian agencies. Agencies give them false
information. They promise them that they will give them
certain salary. And these agencies sign different contract
with employer. So some of the disputes come because we have
two contracts," he observed.

"Whenever I meet Ambassadors from the sending countries,
I urge them to raise the awareness of their workers about
their rights, before they come to Saudi Arabia," he said.

He said that the his Ministry prints brochures in local
languages of these countries and request their embassies in
Saudi Arabia to distribute them to their people before they
come to Saudi Arabia.

"We do not want them to be subject to exploitation due to
lack of information or misunderstanding. Because if I am an
owner of a factory and I sign a contract that the salary for
example is 1,000 Riyal, but the Indian workers sign with the
Indian agency another contract stating that the salary is
2,000 Riyal," he said.

"We have more than two million Indian workers," he said,
adding that this is mutually beneficial for both the

"On the one hand Indian workers are contributing to the
economic development of Saudi Arabia and we appreciate that.
On the other hand, we are offering job opportunities to two
million Indian people. Therefore, we are benefiting the Indian
economy and relieving the unemployment problem in India,"
Al-Humaid said.


First Published: Thursday, April 22, 2010 - 20:03

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